General Motors is looking to settle its ongoing dispute with the Holden dealership network, offering to negotiate compensation packages with the stores via online Zoom conference calls.
Holden‘s network of 185 dealers, which operate a total of 203 retail storefronts, took the fight to GM earlier this year after the automaker offered what they saw as “grossly inadequate” compensation packages. The automaker had previously announced plans to withdraw Holden from the Australian and New Zealand markets and, according to Car Advice, had offered dealers compensation packages worth about $1500 per new car sold within a certain timeframe. The dealer network then hired a law firm to negotiate new compensation deals with GM in an effort to recoup some of the losses they will face as a result of Holden’s demise.
GM responded to the Holden dealer network’s claims earlier this month, saying the compensation offers were “over four times what the average dealer made in the new vehicle department,” within the effective timeframe. It then backtracked on its initial compensation offers and said that under a revised program, dealers would only be entitled to around $350 per new vehicle sold. The automaker also offered some additional compensation to offset costs related to recent showroom upgrades the dealers were asked to perform recently.
Now GM is hoping to reach a settlement in the ongoing row, however. The automaker invited the dealer network to participate in a Zoom video conference call on June 8th to address the matter, with both parties agreeing to negotiate “in good faith” to reach a settlement. The automaker also went back on its offer to give dealers the lower, $350 per vehicle compensation packages.
This move comes after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission pledged to take legal action against GM if it did not change its position on the compensation offers. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison previously sided with the Holden dealers in the matter, telling media that he “won’t have big overseas corporates (from GM) destroying Australian family businesses.”
Additionally, the Australian government has also launched a federal inquiry into GM over its decision to pull out of Australia and has said it plans to hold the automaker to account over any legal obligations it may have to its customers, dealers and employees.
Holden’s withdrawal from Australia and New Zealand will be complete before the end of the year.